Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: At the Supermarket

Find at
Find at
Title: At the Supermarket
Author/Illustrator: Anne Rockwell (website)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Year: 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler
Kid Love Factor: 4/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 3/5

At the Supermarket follows a young boy and his mom through a regular outing to buy food at, well, a supermarket, of course.  The boy narrates what foods they pick up and which ones he likes best.  It all culminates in him reminding his mother they need to pick up the ingredients for his birthday cake, which they of course do, promptly returning home to bake it.  Guess the trip wasn’t quite so mundane for the boy after all!

I saw this reviewed at Kidslit and thought it might be worth trying.  

It was.

Boo’s favourite part is the second page where “the door opens all by itself” is discussed.  He’s very big on anything that happens all by itself, himself, or herself right now, and magic doors are all the rage in his world.  He can talk about them for hours.  I’m not kidding.

This updated edition is illustrated by Anne Rockwell herself with help from her granddaughter.  I must admit to being a bit ambivalent about the results, but they’re certainly bright and colourful and get the idea of the products and setting across.  Boo has no trouble identifying the fruits and veggies, which he likes to point out while I’m listing each one.

I must confess that we actually substitute the term “grocery store” for “supermarket” while reading this, and thus that’s what Boo calls the book “Ah duh Groswy Doh”.  No one around here ever uses the term Supermarket, but it’s easy enough to change while reading, provided I’ve had some caffeine at some point to keep me quasi alert.  Good thing the boy and his mom buy coffee and tea!

Autism Spectrum Bonus: At the Supermarket is a great find for young kids on the spectrum, particularly those who crave routine and knowing exactly what is going to happen in advance.  While vague enough to apply to many countries and cultures (perhaps with a food/terminology substitution or two), it’s detailed enough to really give anxious kids an idea of what they can expect to happen at the store. It also introduces a wide variety of basic foods and household products; if your child enjoys the book enough, perhaps it may encourage him or her to try a food listed in it that they might otherwise be hesitant about.  The book also mentions that the little boy likes grapes best, while his mom prefers brown eggs, which might help you start a conversation about favourite foods and different preferences.

Bottom Line:

This book seems to open all by itself at the grocery store supermarket. 



  1. We should hunt this one down, because my son loves his weekly grocery store to the trip with Daddy! Now that he is older, I make a big deal about typing up a grocery list for him (in a nice readable font) each week and he holds it and reads it for him as they shop. I'm remembering a fun craft you might like from No time for flashcards... let me see if I can find it. No, I can't find it easily, but the basic idea is that you cut pictures out of the grocery store ads/magazines and make a pictorial shopping list for your son to hold while you shop.

  2. lol, obviously I am not awake yet, with that first sentence.

  3. That sounds like a great idea. Beats him pawing at my iPhone for a game while I'm trying to read my shopping list app, anyway.

    And it's Monday morning. Lapses in grammar are to be expected. I didn't even notice the error until you pointed it out, which shows how alert I am, too. :)

  4. We call it a grocery store, too. I've noticed that any book that mentions the word birthday is usually a bit hit, no matter the subject!

    I made one of those pictorial grocery lists that Infant Bibliophine mentioned for my daughter when she was younger. I used Microsoft Office clip art for the images. It's a fun way for them to help in the store.

  5. Ooh, I like the clipart angle. I'll probably try a mix of cut out food ads (our occupational therapist pointed out yesterday that Boo should have been learning about scissors for a while now) and clipart next time we head to the store.

  6. I've done the pictoral grocery store list using flyer images. I had my 3yo help me find the items in the flyers (I used a few) and then he happily helped me paste them on the page. For the things we couldn't find, my husband drew a simple picture. (That was good for some laughs!) We all had a blast and the shopping trip was fun.

    Infant Bibliophile, it took me several reads to figure out your error! (I've got a migraine.)

    Sam and Boo, I love that you're encouraging fun food shopping. I love it and so do my kids, as long as we're fed and rested. This book sounds fun, thanks.


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